New English teachers: George Vuong

Maddy Jones, Author

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New English teacher George Vuong poses smiles outside his classroom in the Media Arts Center. Vuong teaches the accelerated lanes of both ninth and tenth graders. Photo by Maddy Jones.

George Vuong teaches both freshmen and sophomores in the accelerated lanes. Vuong originally worked as an assistant systems manager at a health and beauty company that focused on organic skincare, but switched to teaching for the greater social interaction. Vuong worked as a student teacher at Santa Barbara High School and then came to Paly, where he says he has enjoyed the mentorship and support that has been offered to new teachers.

The Paly Voice: What did you do this summer?

George Vuong: This summer I didn’t do too much besides move from Santa Barbara. You don’t realize how much stuff you have until you actually start moving, so when I started moving and I started really finding out how much stuff I have, it was bad. I mean I was making trips back and forth and it took forever, so that was basically my summer a lot of moving.

TPV: What do you do in your free time?

GV: In my free time I love reading, I’m an English teacher. I love reading all types of genres: fiction, non-fiction, stuff like that. I also love walking my dog. I find it very therapeutic. I find that a little bit of exercise goes a long way in both physical and mental health.

TPV: What is your favorite part of teaching?

GV: My favorite part of teaching is making a connection with the students. I’m here for the students first, everything else second. When they learn and they understand things and they feel supported in a community that is their classroom, I feel like I’ve done my job.

TPV: Do you have a favorite app?

GV: I’ve been working on an app called ClassDogo. Basically what ClassDogo is that you can make a class roster with your students in them. Their little avatars online are little monsters so you put their names on [the avatars], they can log on to your classroom that you set up and basically it’s a way for you to have a points management system. When kids are participating you give them credit for it and it’s a way to track that. I have not implemented that yet, but I think I will very soon.

TPV: Do you have pets?

GV: I actually have a bunny, but it recently passed away…I’m probably going to get a new bunny. My dog is a Shiba Inu. It’s very cute. [I have] two [mixed breeds of] cats, they get along with the dog. When the bunny was still there it was a pretty crowded place.

TPV: What is the last movie you saw and did you like it?

GV: “Gravity” just came out on HBO. Of course we watched it on a fairly big screen so I got the full effect of it. It’s very dizzying and nauseous to watch that movie, but it was an amazing experience. Kudos to the director, you did an awesome job creating those special effects and those visuals.

Meet the other English teachers:

Bo Cheli

Trinity Klein

Richard Rodriguez